Ozeki Hoshoryu continued his perfect start to the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament by pushing out No. 4 maegashira Gonoyama on Thursday.
The 24-year-old nephew of Mongolian great Asashoryu outwrestled the former second-division juryo champion in an entertaining Day 5 battle to remain unbeaten on top of the leaderboard alongside sekiwake Kotonowaka, No. 8 Atamifuji and No. 14 Ichiyamamoto.
Failing to reach mutual consent during a protracted stare-down, the pair stepped away from their marks twice before finally getting down to business at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.
Gonoyama (1-4) delivered a strong opening thrust and drove Hoshoryu toward the edge before making an ill-judged attempt to pull the ozeki off balance. That opening was all Hoshoryu needed to seize the momentum and push the maegashira back across the ring and out.
Rising star Kotonowaka maintained his spotless record by handing fellow sekiwake Daieisho his first loss of the 15-day tournament. The powerfully built 25-year-old stopped Daieisho in his tracks and slung him to the clay with an under-shoulder swing down.
Ozeki Kirishima improved to 4-1 by dispatching one of the local favorites, No. 2 Meisei, who had beaten ozeki Takakeisho in one of the biggest upsets of Day 4. The Mongolian grappler was barely troubled as he slapped Meisei (1-4) to the clay.
September champion Takakeisho (4-1) bounced back from his loss to Meisei, advancing his bid for a second straight Emperor's Cup and a yokozuna promotion by quickly pushing out No. 3 Takayasu (2-3).
Sekiwake Wakamotoharu improved to 3-2 as he inflicted a fifth straight loss on embattled No. 1 Ura via frontal crush out.
The 21-year-old Atamifuji, who grabbed headlines with his surprise title challenge at the September tournament, provided further evidence that the performance was no flash in the pan with an impressive force-out victory over veteran No. 10 Kotoeko (2-3).